The definition of hysteria, as defined by Merriam Webster, is behavior exhibiting overwhelming or unmanageable fear or emotional excess, and coincidentally often combined with the word political. 

Society is constantly evolving and creating new waves of crisis’s and along with that comes the evolvement of the very own planet. 

Major crises have always made a presence in a multitude of generations. The ’90s transformed itself into the opening of the 2000s, which ignited the Y2K crisis, which stood for “year two thousand.”

It began with the issue of coding in computer systems: the systems could not interpret the year 2000, which many feared that computer systems in the United States would not operate or even function. 

Many auctioned that all the systems should be updated and replaced before the date of January 1, 2000. Billions of dollars were invested in fixing this technological problem. 

The fear that came from the hypothesized computer failure was the chance of things becoming inoperable like banks and utility systems. A time where many associated this with the end of the world. 

Bunkers were being stocked with cans of spam and wilderness boot camps were being advertised. A precaution that was taken for a crisis that came and went with little than no more than a few glitches.

The hysteria of this was not minimal and caught the attention of everyone in the nation, including the president of the united states. Actions were being taken by government officials like Bill Clinton who signed the Year 2000 Information and Readiness Disclosure Act in October of 1998.

The law was designed at making sure all companies were being honest and disclosing all information that could be connected to the transition year of 2000. 

The ignition of the Y2K Bug was the immediate investigation that the government gave to the crisis. The sources stated in the Special Committee on the Year 200 Technological Problem, “the committee is among the most broad-based, best-informed bodies in existence, yet it cannot predict what will occur on January 1, 2000. The data simply does not exist.”

The crisis began and evolved without any direct evidence of the issue besides the fact that the systems could not interpret the year 2000. No evidence had been found to support the point before the hysteria began and few major problems occurred between the December 1999 and January 2000.

Unlike the Y2K Bug, Climate change has not been entirely accepted by government officials and has been widely debated.

The understanding of what climate change is that of the “greenhouse effect,” which is when the earth warms itself due to the heat trapped in the atmosphere. A specific understanding of the issue that many scientists agree to be the primary cause of climate change.

The issue of the “greenhouse effect” has become entirely political and has been a tool that has been widely used in the past few years. 

Global warming, an issue of science, has physical proof that human life is affecting the natural greenhouse: the burning of fossil fuels is one of the main contributors to this effect, releasing Carbon Dioxide into the atmosphere. A contribution that the United States comes in second place.

The real proof of the effects of the greenhouse effect is in the environment. The well-known fact that sea levels are rising, heat waves and droughts that lead to wildfires, are all connected to the environmental change brought on by global warming.

Specifically related to Charleston and the entire northeast, the hurricanes experienced in the holy city will only continue to get worse. 

The rain and sea levels will rise, leading to more storm surges and high tides that will increase the flooding in the region. The things that will be most affected are agriculture, ecosystems, and infrastructure, which are vital roles in all communities.

The United Nations of Climate Change holds that “The Paris Agreement formally acknowledges the urgent need to scale up our global response to climate change, which supports even greater ambition from governments. The commitments from all actors are recognized in the decision text of the Paris Agreement, including those launched through the Lima–Paris Action Agenda.” An organization that Trump withdrew from in 2017. 

The most significant debate about this issue is if climate change is real or even contributing to an adverse effect on the planet. 

The late ’90s became infamous for the Y2K crisis and the hysteria it brought with it, lacking the evidence that climate change brings: the potential for the entire planet to die out. 

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Judith Arendall, a Nashville native, is a Junior english major with a Writing, Rhetoric and Publication emphasis. In Judith’s free time, aside from writing for CisternYard, she interns at Blue Bicycle Books.

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